Tag Archive: Elections

Jul 15 2012

This is the offical record of objections for the Queens Democratic Primary

I challenge you!

Through ojections we can help assure that our elections are reliable and that candidates have met the legal requirements for ballot access in New York State.

Take a moment and skim through the record, it’s very revealing.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/07/queens-politics-board-of-elections/

Mar 01 2012

The Teacher Who Won the Hearts of All

City Councilman Dan Halloran swears-in Andrew Rocco as the new President of the College Point Civic & Tax Payers Association.

The civic leaders of tomorrow were handed the reigns of leadership as Councilman Halloran swore in an energized civic president and a new slate of talented club officers.

His name is Andrew Rocco and if you live in Queens, chances are you’ve seen him around. From advocating for school bus service to organizing the neighborhood, Andrew Rocco – affectionately known as Andy – has earned the title of President of the College Point Civic Tax Payers Association.

The CPCTA is not a political club, or a philanthropy organization. Instead, the organization is the go-to spot to have anything accomplished in College Point. Do you have a dangerous street yearning for a stop sign? Do you need extra police patrols on your block? This association is one of the most active and organized in Queens to get the job done.

Under the tutelage of outgoing President Joe Femenia, the group has swelled in number. Police officers, business owners, even scientists are known to attend the meetings and play an active role in the group’s success as an organization.  For example, at the officer’s swearing-in ceremony, more than 70 members attended, and they come back for every meeting.

In the crowd, many young faces that heard about the organization from Rocco looked cheerful and comfortable while sitting side by side with veteran members – as if a sense of community transcended age and divisive politics.

Rocco, a UFT teacher and organizer by trade, is a lifelong resident of College Point. He’s well aquainted with the daily grind, everyone knows him by name.

With only two roads in and surrounded by water, College Point has a distinct neighborhood identity.  People are proud to be a part of the fabric of life in this community and its thanks impart to civic-minded citizens like Rocco that nurture strong roots and responsibility for home ownership.  In  College Point, it is not uncommon for families to pass on their homes generation after generation.

It was a cold and rainy night on the wind-swept shores of College Point but that didn’t stop City Councilman Dan Halloran from swearing-in the new board for 2012. Halloran also issued certificates of recognition to the new board for their selfless commitment to community service.

Beaming with a sense of pride for his beloved neighborhood, Rocco, who studied history and political science at The College of St. Rose, stood apart from the crowd while addressing the members from the center of the old Poppenhusen classroom. While looking at his friends and neighbors, he was already thinking about the group’s agenda for the year, and like a natural-born leader Rocco hopes to expand the membership by engaging the community through social media.

At the end of the ceremony, Rocco thanked everyone for attending and reminded them about the next meeting date.

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We are very proud of Andy Rocco he’s the right choice and we wish him the best of luck in all endeavors.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/03/the-teacher-who-won-the-hearts-of-all-andrew-rocco/

Nov 10 2011

Sanders’ Chief of Staff says He’s got the Right Stuff.

 

photofromqnscampaigner

A City Council staffer is planning to run for his old mentor’s seat in South Queens. 

Richards sounds like he’s shaping up to be an activist candidate. There are too many lame duck Chiefs of Staff especially chiefs that remained on board after their pol that hired them was ousted in a residency scandal. Preserving the head of the beast after you rode the anti-establishment tide stinks of hypocrisy. True Mammons of civic uprighteousness toting an exaggerated  sense of self-worth.

I know far too many Chiefs of Staff waiting around in the woodwork for their elected official to retire or die, or be ousted in a scandal, or like in Sander’s case waiting for term limits to kick in. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be going on here.

On the bright side there are many effective and honest staffers in government, but not enough.

 From Queens Chronicle: Donovan Richards, chief of staff to City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), always wanted to help others, even at an early age, but his dedication to civic duty came full circle after a tragic event.

On March 13, 2003, his friend was shot and killed after getting into a dispute with another man. The incident led him to attend a community meeting where Sanders was speaking about gun violence, and he was eventually hired by the lawmaker, whom he called his “mentor.”

Now, Richards plans to run for his boss’ seat when he is term-limited out in 2013 and has the councilman’s full support.

For Full Article: http://www.qchron.com/news/eastern/richards-will-run-to-replace-sanders/article_6711e971-8a1e-5f74-8442-4a225b2dc215.html

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/11/sanders-chief-of-staff-says-hes-got-the-right-stuff/

Oct 17 2011

Lew Simons of The World Getting Attention

Hon. Lew Simon. Democratic District Leader 23rd A.D. Part B, best known for chasing raccoons says he will keep the mustache at all costs. This is an important man.

Shocking: Democratic clubs with ten members get to choose Mayoral Candidate.

Who’s canoodling for attention these days? I’ll tell you. The following ‘candidates’ are competing for Queens party boss Joe Crowley’s attention – and to a lesser degree Brooklyn party boss Vito Lopez.

How are they doing it? Visiting local Democratic Clubs, flirting with District Leaders, even the one’s with a few screws loose, according to insiders.

District Leaders heavily influence the Democratic party’s nomination process. In Queens, it’s tantamount to election. Political hopefuls, or more often than not, party insiders get the endorsement, which some call a corronation. Many of these clubs barely qualify as clubs. It’s pathetic, but standard procedure.

It’s that time of year. So expect a visit from these candidates at your local political club.

For those of you in multiple clubs expect to hear the same speech.

Here they are:

  1. Quinn
  2. Liu
  3. Thompson
  4. Avella
  5. de Blasio

“Joe Crowley will need disinfectant because everyone will be kissing his ring.”

What is a District Leader?

A District leader is an unpaid elected party position. District Leaders often arise from political clubs. Each Assembly District has a male and female post and they serve for two years. Republicans too. Sometimes it’s a patronage post (have this so you stop crying about wanting to run when we already picked someone) and sometimes it’s a springboard for higher office. It’s like getting your foot in the door. DL’s reward loyalty by hiring poll workers. Some DL’s are more vocal and do great things for the community while others have questionable residencies. Generally I see them as little party whips. They play a role for endorsements during campaign season, help elected judges, and are generally political insiders.

For a great article on the duties of a District Leader read M. Burgo’s blog post on How To Pick A District Leader.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/lew-simons-of-the-world-getting-attention/

Oct 03 2011

Chairman Or Chairmen? Robert Hornak On The Power Grab For Control Of The Queens GOP

Queens GOP Spokesman Robert Hornak interviews with Queens-Politics.

The Queens GOP is locking horns with what I call, the Southern Insurrection. It’s all over the news and political insiders are getting giddy. While the the criminal trial of political operative John Haggerty is underway, a renewed battle is now being fought again for control of a party once thought to be insolvent.

In an exclusive  interview with Robert Hornak, spokesman for the Queens GOP, Queens-Politics got the inside scoop of what’s going to go down in the next few days. Here’s the interview:

Q. Robert, why is Tom Ognibene attempting to usurp the GOP party?

Robert gives some background and presents Ognibene’s motive(s):

A. That’s a really good question, Adam. Ognibene has been in political limbo since he was term-limited out of the City Council and named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a 2001, case involving bribe-taking and building-code inspectors.

“Ognibene wanted to be a judge, but considering the nature of his case, it wasn’t going to happen”

Then he [Ognibene] ran for Mayor, said Hornak, and he was subsequently knocked off the ballot by the Haggertys. Hornak chuckles…

“The GOP went with Bloomberg and Tom got very angry,” said Hornak, adding “Ognibene once called the Hagggertys ‘poison in the well’, now he [Ognibene] is anti-Ragusa.” According to Hornak, the reasons for this alliance are not confirmed. “No one can explain why,” he said.

Q. So, What makes Ragusa the better choice for the Queens GOP?

A. “Where do I start?” asked Hornak, rhetorically. “Ragusa energized the party, and continues to do so. he recruited young people with skill sets to run with the ball,” said Hornak and he [Ragusa] is open to new ideas like harnessing digital communication technology to bring the party up-to-date with new voters.

Q. Sounds packaged, tell the readers of Queens-Politics more about  him.

“He reinvigorated the party,” referring to Ragusa. After he said that, I probed a little further:

Hornak claimed Ragusa has been growing the party and reaching out to immigrant communities.

“We’ve found a lot of new immigrant communities that lean conservative and we’ve reached out to them with success.“Phil has worked tirelessly on this,” said Hornak.

In terms of political success, Ragusa was instrumental in electing Halloran, Koo, fund-raising, and now he’s working on judgeships, according to Hornak.

Q. So, You guys were instrumental in electing City Council Member Eric Ulrich, why is Eric going off the reservation with his endorsement for Tom Ognibene?

A. “He’s off the reservation completely…Eric is somewhat immature and short-sighted for an elected official. It’s probably to feed his ego and personal aspirations.” Hornak added that while Ulrich interjected himself  into party politics, he has neglected the community he was elected to serve.

Q. What is your prediction regarding the judge’s decision?

 “My prediction is that we’ll see clearly from evidence than Tom Ognibene was never Chairman.”

Even if he is elected, a far fetched scenario he laments,

 “Ognibene is [still] a puppet put up by the Haggertys, John Haggerty would be the new Chairman even if Ognibene succeeds in court.”

Q. I know similar events happened two years ago, are we to expect this every time the County Chair is up for grabs?

A. “I think this is their last hurrah, John Haggerty will be in a state-house [prison] and Tom Ognibene… he’ll find something else to do.”

Q. What message would you like to send to the Haggerty brothers, Tom Ognibene, and Eric Ulrich?

“Come to the table and work with us.”

Hornak said their have been a multitude of instances to extend an olive-branch and come to the table for negotiation with the Southern faction for the sake of party unity. “Every attempt at outreach has been rebuffed or ignored,” said Hornak. “The Haggertys are into nothing less than full control.”

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/qp-exclusive-interview-with-robert-hornak-director-of-communications-for-the-queens-county-republican-party/

Oct 02 2011

Batter Up: Who Will Challenge Avella In ’12?

Go ahead, take a swing, says incumbent State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside).

Four possible candidates show the ambition it takes to make a run for Tony Avella’s 11th Senate District in northeast Queens. Who are they?

While no candidate from the GOP has come forward and declared an official run, the 2012 election is right around the corner, and members of the Queens Republican Party have already been asking themselves, am I ready for a face- off with Democrat Tony Avella for the 11th Senatorial District?

Here are a few bets (a primary notwithstanding) for those GOP’ers circling the wagons:

 

1. City Council Member Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone)

Odds of running against Avella = 3 to 1

Dan has excellent name recognition in the community. He’s at all the meetings, almost omnipotent. Beside being the #1 target of the Queens Democratic Machine, Dan is a good representative. His experience with city government plus the professional networks he’s created will help push him over the hill. Dan is also very popular around the neighborhood, even though Dems enjoy a significant enrollment in terms of party registration (93,820 Dems vs. 32,018 GOP). If recent events have taught us anything, party solidarity is beginning to mean less as time goes on, but I digress…

Average folk tend to look past his Libertarian leanings, and his office staff is excellent, fast, and responsive. Dan is young and he has the energy to travel back and forth to Albany. It’s a lot of stress for us down-state folk. Dan’s odds: 3 to1.

2. Vince Tabone, Executive Director of the Queens County GOP.

Odds of running against Avella = 10 to 1.

Vince Tabone is one of those ‘operatives’ turned candidates. Vince pals around with Chairman Phil Ragusa from the Queens County GOP and he has mulled around the thought of taking the chair position from Ragusa for quite some time. Plenty of ambition over at the party HQ. Interesting story about Tabone, when I was working a special election in South Queens, Vince cornered me at the Reception House on Northern Blvd during a local GOP convention and promised to deliver me boots on the ground (code phrase for pro-volunteers) to South Queens. With the election a few days away, and no help from the Queens GOP in sight (we won that election by ourselves) I said, “Vince, you have no boots on the ground, and you can’t deliver what you don’t have.” I patted him on the back and I walked away. Later on he would run a failing bid for State Assembly against now incumbent Ed Braunstein, who I campaigned for.

Overall, Vince was a lackluster candidate who paid volunteers to sit around and eat. It’s true, my people saw his people on Election day hanging out at Gyro World. They were paid volunteers and they came from Long Island. But that’s not the point. The Senatorial electorate doesn’t want another hard-nosed conservative (the anti-gay sort), but that may not stop him from running. Vince is a great fundraiser plus he has an acerbic tongue that puts fear into the hearts of his opponents. Even with the North Shore Towers (a Democratic stronghold with dependable voters) working against him, Vince gave the Democratic County Machine a run for its money.  Vince’s odds: 10 to 1

3. Elio Forcina, Former State Assembly Candidate, Attorney.

Odds of running against Avella = 99 to 1

Elio Forcina is thought to be highly regarded amongst Conservatives as well as the Queens GOP. Elio ran for State Assembly District 26 in a Democratic primary as a Conservative Dem, and won nearly every single ED in Whitestone, (a stronghold of sometimes conservative leaning voters). During his grassroots campaign, Elio stuck to his Conservative roots and ran a platform of fiscal responsibility and increasing transparency in Albany. Wilson Pakula? Elio is also a neighborhood fixture in Clearview Gardens and his campaign banner is still up at the 7-11 parking lot in Whitestone, and probably will be forever.

I see Elio at many meetings, or at least see him in touch with current events on Facebook. I also campaigned for Elio because I thought he’d make for a great Assembly Member. Despite our contrasting views on the role of government, Elio would have been amiable enough to center himself and bring home the bacon to AD 26, he is after all, a neighborhood guy. Elio’s odds = 99 to 1

4. Marco DeSena

Odds of running against Avella = 20 to 1

Marco is somewhat of a mystery. Marco filed to run for Assembly in AD27 and got himself enough signatures to get on the ballot, and that’s where I believe his campaign ended. Marco spent 36 dollars in the election and gave Democrat Mike Simanowitz the edge. If Simanowitz had just three volunteers (he had an army of supporters, including yours truly) that would have been three more volunteers than DeSena had .

I ran into DeSena for the first time at a rally before the election, he came up and introduced himself. The Professor from Baruch College did not give off a candidate’s vibe, and the rally where we met wasn’t in his district. Although the Queens GOP did endorse him, someone over there must either like him, or they couldn’t find anyone else to step up to the plate. So, I don’t know. Something’s going on. DeSena is a variable, and now with an “Assembly run” behind him, at least he got his foot in the door. Marco’s odds = 20 to 1

5. ?

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* Many more may enter or never declare, and there’s no residency requirement for running. Also redistricting is a big issue, so we don’t actually know where Senate 11 will be located. Lastly, Senator Tony Avella is an excellent legislator and an experienced campaigner. He knows the people and the district better than any of the candidates above.

Continue visiting Queens-Politics.com for up-to-date information

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/circling-the-wagons-who-will-run-against-senator-avella-batter-up/

Sep 28 2011

Simanowitz Wins By A Landslide

Mike Simanowitz is now the State Assembly member for the 25th A.D after a landslide victory in a special election in Queens.

Simanowitz is no stranger to public life, he has served for years as Chief of Staff to now retired Assembly Member Nettie Mayherson.

The campaign was quiet. A few voters trickling into my pollsite in College Point. His opponent, Marco DeSena, a professor at Baruch College, we didn’t hear a peep from his election operation. At the closing of the pollsite, which was Marco’s designated pollsite, he was nowhere to be found. No volunteers, not even a single sign was up.  On the other hand, Simanowitz had a well-organized operation even though the race was overlooked by the fiasco next door in #NY9.

As for Marco, some people were left to speculate if this was just a ploy to run again at some point in the future. Resume building? He spent $36.50 on “office supplies” in July, according to NYS Campaign Finance and still has $9,600 in his Assembly account.

You decide.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/09/simanowitz-wins-by-a-landslide/

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